Initiation rites of traditional healers in South Africa
• initiation rites of traditional healers in South Africa
In South Africa, when sick, do not always go to the doctor. On all occasions, there are herbalists, midwives, faith healers, fortune tellers, and others. Now in South Africa, there are about 200 000 traditional healers and only 25 000 doctors who work for the canons of Western medicine.
Photo: 50-year-old Ntombemlof Sangoma Chris (Chris Ntombemhlophe Reid) Lusikisiki district, the first white Sangoma in the region. In the hands of Chris - carrot and stick with the cow's tail on the end to help him in healing and serve as a means of spiritual communication with the ancestors
Among the most knowledgeable healers are considered to be "possessed" - those who are elected to the ancestors for spiritual vocation. Usually they are called Sangoma or Inyanga, but every culture has its own terminology for them.
Not to be confused with Sangoma sorcerers (those in South Africa do not really favor). Sangoma diagnose illness, prescribe and prepare herbal medicines, advice and even provide spiritual support. Many people seeking to learn the art of Sangoma undergo initiation, a few years becoming an assistant or apprentice practitioner healer. Several stages of training, and they are all related to special ceremonies and rules compliance.
It was about this photo essay German photojournalist from Israel Corinne Kern. In 2014, she recorded all the details of the long and difficult initiation ceremony.
Helping Sangoma Kamagvini to conduct the ceremony, Chris breathes the smoke of sacred African mphepho plants. Sangoma is used to cleanse the spirit, communication with the ancestors and spiritual protection
Chris covers his hands to his spiritual daughter Tyatyambo drug powders consisting of mineral, animal and vegetable substances. To get rid of all the bad things that have been in a past life, the girl need to lick some of the powder from the back of his hand, and sprinkle the remains of the shoulders
Kankata Assistant Sangoma, prepares a special timber for ceremony
Tyatyambo welcomes kiss my spiritual sister Vumanitongo carrying a box on his head with three chickens that will be needed in the upcoming ceremony
Chris goes to bathe in the river. Rural areas are more attractive for Sangoma and their students than the city, exposed to Western influence
The day before the initiation - ceremony, when the girl becomes a pupil of Sangoma. Today - the last day, when she was allowed to wear sunglasses, colored shoes and clothes
Chris is a new student and members of his spiritual family in the woods to spend the initiation rite. There, she will receive a crown of leaves and two sticks, which are made of a certain type of timber and used for spiritual connection with their ancestors
soiskatelnits waits until the new members of its spiritual family collected the attributes required for initiation
Selfies in a red hat and white beaded necklace. Things of beads, made the girl - the future of the student attire. White robes symbolize the bones of their ancestors and serve as spiritual protection
During the initiation pupil meditates with two chickens under their arms. Third hen sits on her head - before the bird will sacrifice, ancestors must accept the offering. In the South African shaman, like the Javanese, the victims are an integral part of many ceremonies - the ceremony they tie ancestors student with the ancestors of her new spiritual family. In the background, singing and dancing Sangoma
The girl need to drink the contents of the bile birds bubbles sacrificed. This part of the process of spiritual purification and transformation of the "old and sick" person in the new. Feather headdress to be worn as a subject of new clothes until the next ceremony, leading to the second phase of training
A person student covered in blood sacrificed animals
ingvamba ceremony marks the beginning of the second stage: instead of white robes symbolizing the bones of ancestors, students wear red - symbol of the blood, and simple wooden sticks are replaced with a spear for sacrifices and a traditional stick fighting
On the morning of the ceremony Kankata performs a dance with rattles on their feet. Physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation are part of Sangoma path to spirituality, so rites often last for several days. Traditional dances, drums and singing contribute to the introduction of a state of trance